France’s most wanted male criminal evades police by wearing an Islamic burka for three months – still think it’s not a security risk?

Rédoine Faïd, France’s most-wanted fugitive for the death of a policewoman during a botched robbery in 2010, has been found three months nearly to the day from when he escaped from prison, France24 reports.

He was the mastermind behind a botched robbery in 2010, amongst a plethora of previous crimes. A policewoman was killed during his attempted raid on a security van carrying cash.

On 1 July, with the help of three heavily armed men, he escaped in a helicopter flown by a flying instructor taken hostage. He has been on the run for three months. This is not Faïd’s first escape. In 2013 he seized four prison guards and using dynamite, blew off the jail doors. He spent six weeks on the run at that time.

Early Wednesday morning, police finally tracked Faïd to a block of flats after monitoring mobile phones used by the gang that participated in the jailbreak. There was a young woman in Creil, where Faïd grew up, that last weekend had “let into her car a person dressed in a burqa whose figure suggested he might be a man”.

The person dressed in a burqa got out of the car and entered the woman’s flat followed by another person, also in a burqa. The police immediately suspected the two burqa clad people of being Rédoine Faïd and his brother Rachid.

At 04:20 (02:20 GMT) on Wednesday, a large show of strength of France’s BRI police raided the flat, arresting Rédoine Faïd, his brother Rachid, along with the flat owner’s 28-year-old nephew. The nephew and two other suspects were detained elsewhere.

Rédoine is one of France’s most notorious criminals. Despite the violent nature of his crimes, he has almost had a celebrity status.

He was sentenced to 10 years after his 2013 jailbreak in 2017 and was also given 18 years for being the mastermind behind the 2010 robbery. In 2018, he failed an appeal and was handed a 25 year sentence.

The violent criminals’ prison escapes and eluding police capture by simply wearing burqa’s has proven embarrassing for Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet. On Wednesday she vowed: We’re going to put him in a high-security facility where he will be watched extremely closely”.

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